A Small Family Business, National Theatre – When thieves, blackmailers, adulterers and criminals unite!

When the National Theatre decided to resuscitate Alan Ayckbourn’s comedy, first staged a few months before 1987’s Black Monday, they must have thought they were in for a sure thing.  After all, the play did nicely the first time around and is a comment on greed, the pervasive scamming and fraud in Britain and our […]

King Lear, National Theatre – What happens when a dictator looses everything?

Before I even begin my review of one of Shakespeare’s bleakest tragedy, I must disclose to being an absolute groupie of Sam Mendes.  I have followed his career from his beginning at the RSC, his work as artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse, on to his successful film-directing career and seen every production of his […]

Fortune’s Fool, The Old Vic – What is man without dignity and integrity?

First staged at the Chichester Festival in 1996, Mike Poulton’s adaptation of Turgenev’s 1848 play finally comes to London in a beautiful production at The Old Vic.  We are in 19th-century Russia complete with samovar and servants.  As in Chekhov’s ”Cherry Orchard”, the servants are jolted out of their tranquillity and run ineffectively to and […]

Thinking of Catching a Show in the Next Month – A few productions to consider

We are told there are two universal human certainties, death and taxes but I would add a third, diverging opinions.  As I ponder the choice of venues to recommend for a theatre outing I am reminded that what one likes, another despises, so like it or lump it, here are my picks of things to […]